Snow and ice management is fraught with danger. Working in the field and in the shop can open workers up to the threat of injuries related to chemical exposure, electrical shock, ergonomics, falls, mechanical injuries, noise, visibility and weather, just to name a few.
Conducting a job hazard analysis can identify those hazards before they occur, which can reduce injuries and increase productivity. The analysis can also be valuable in training employees to safely perform their tasks.
The goal is to identify 1) what can go wrong 2) the consequences if something goes wrong 3) how it can happen and any contributing factors and 4) how likely it is to happen.
Following are basic steps to take to undertake a job hazard analysis:
- Review accident (personal, equipment, site) history, including near misses. These identify areas that deserve a closer look.
- Outline the steps or tasks for each job. Watch the worker perform the job and list each step. Seek input from other workers who have performed the same job. Review the steps with the employee to make sure the job process is correct. Consider photographing or videotaping the worker performing the job to assist in the documentation.
- Use a template so each hazard analysis is answered consistently. A good template should include:
- Environment (site)
- Exposure (who or what is involved)
- Trigger (what causes the hazard)
- Consequence (outcome if hazard occurs)
- Review your job hazard analyses to ensure they are current and update as necessary. Always retrain all employees if a hazard analysis is revised.
- Make sure each crew holds a short meeting before beginning work at any jobsite to discuss hazards and potential hazards and how they will be addressed. Briefly document this meeting in writing.
- If an employee fails to follow proper procedures, discuss the situation with all employees who perform the job and remind them of proper procedures.
Learn more about job hazard analysis at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3071.html
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